Our staff

We have a number of very dedicated members of staff, the majority with children of their own.  We are registered and regularly inspected by Ofsted, and as a member of the Pre-school Leaning Alliance we regularly review and update our skills and undertake any relevant training.

We have an child:adult ratio of 4:1 for the 2 to 3 year olds and 8:1 for 3+ year olds.

In order to ensure quality of care we undertake regular training and refresher courses through West Berkshire Early Years Team and an Early Years co-ordinator is available to offer advice to us.

Our team

Hello, I’m Emma. I have been working at Playgroup for 7 years having started as a student and slowly making my way up. I am the Playgroup Manager and I have 3 children who have all attended the Playgroup and thoroughly enjoyed themselves – it was what motivated me to want to join the team. I love the teaching and learning aspect of my job – learning through play is such an enjoyable experience and incredibly rewarding. I enjoy problem solving, whether that is encouraging a child to finish a jigsaw puzzle or helping a child to understand their feelings and their behaviour.

I am Designated Safeguarding Lead, First Aid trained, Health and Safety officer and have a NVQ Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification.

Emma Carney

My name is Rachel, and I am Deputy Manager. I have a long history with Playgroup as this is the setting I attended when I was 3 as well as my Mum working here for many years! I love that my boys will also be coming here, the Playgroup means so much as a community based charity and has a very special place in the village and surrounding areas. I have worked in Early Years since I left school and love to share the experiences and knowledge I have gained from other settings with the team. I love encouraging the children with their sensory play, we can learn so much by observing and building on their experiences with the addition of some mud, flour, water- whatever they like!

I am Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputy SENCO, First Aid trained, and have a Level 4 certification in Early Years.

Rachel Dwyer

Hello, I am Tina! I have been with the Playgroup for 22 years, I knew the Playgroup when it was a small setting located in the village. I love the outdoors and nature and love to encourage the children to be mucky and inquisitive. The calming influence of being outside and a bit of fresh air can solve most problems when you are under 5! I also love to introduce maths into many activities – it is an area of learning that many find tricky but can easily be added into the simplest tasks, meaning the children are learning without knowing it.

I have recently completed Safeguarding training and have an NVQ Level 3 Early Years qualification.

Tina Robins

Hi! My name is Francesca. I have seen first hand how much my daughter has thrived within the setting and am loving being part of such a fantastic team and working with your equally lovely children. I am a big advocate of messy play, outdoor learning, and allowing children to explore and investigate the world around them. I am an avid reader and love to find new stories with my daughter, I believe that reading has countless benefits for children, and can’t wait to share all my silly character voices with your children!

I have just completed my NVQ Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification. I am First aid trained and recently completed Safeguarding training.

Francesca Downey

Kate Eggleton

Hi there, I’m Kate. It was at playgroup I trained for 2 years and gained my level 3 childcare qualifications. I left briefly to homeschool my children and am so pleased to have returned! I thoroughly enjoy working with such an amazing team of ladies and am so happy to be working with your lovely children, teaching them, and helping them along their journeys when transitioning to ‘big’ school.

I absolutely love being outdoors in nature, exploring all kinds of plants and wildlife, and believe very much In the importance of Sensory play for children as not only does it promote language development, cognitive growth, and problem-solving skills but also the childrens social interactions.

I am First Aid trained and have my NVQ Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification.

Kate Eggleton


Hello! I’m Helen, I’ve worked with children for nearly 18 years I am married and have 2 boys. We have 3 dogs, a cat and many fish. I have a lot of experience with children with additional needs, though it can be challenging the sense of achievement felt when you help a child to navigate themselves through a situation is beyond any reward. I love doing arts and crafts and you can often find me covered in paint- Allowing children to express and explore this area of learning is such fun, after all, there are not many places where it is ok to get as messy as you like!

I have my NVQ Level 3 in Childcare, am First aid trained, I recently completed Safeguarding training and am Lead SENCO.

Helen Buckett

Hello, My name is Tetiana but I am usually known as Tania. I came to the UK at the beginning of the year and my son attended Playgroup for a short time before he began school. At home in Ukraine, I am a English teacher and have many years of experience working with children. I am learning so much from the children and staff here, early years education is very different in England! I am finding the experience fascinating and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know everyone, their interests, and all the new nursery rhymes!

I am First aid trained and have completed safeguarding training.

Tetiana Rumiantseva

The committee

Chairperson:  Rebecca Farr
Treasurer:  Maebh Booth
Secretary :  Jenny Kok
General Members: Francesca Downey, Rachel Dwyer, Sam Saunders (subject to Ofsted approval), Daryl Wardle (subject to offsted approval)

A parent management committee – whose members are elected by the parents of the children who attend the playgroup – manages the playgroup. The elections take place at the Annual General Meeting, which is held in the Autumn Term each year. The committee is responsible for:

1. managing the playgroup’s finances
2. employing and managing the staff
3. making sure that the playgroup has, and works to, policies which help it to provide a high quality service
4. making sure that the playgroup works in partnership with the children’s parents.

The Annual General Meeting is open to the parents of all of the children who attend the playgroup.  It is their forum for looking back over the previous year’s activities and shaping the coming year’s activities.

The committee works on a completely voluntary basis. There must be a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary who are the “officers” of the Committee and a minimum of 3 and maximum of 9 other members.  All members are required by Ofsted to have health and police checks.  The playgroup has an inspection by Ofsted where the premises and the general running of the playgroup are inspected. All staff members also have the above-mentioned checks. It is the responsibility of the Committee to ensure that the playgroup adheres to all new regulations and guidelines.

The committee is also responsible for ensuring the financial security of the playgroup and organising fundraising events.

Being on the committee means that you have a chance to have your say and contribute to the running of the playgroup.

At this important early learning stage, we encourage parents to participate in all aspects of pre-school life. There are many opportunities in which to be involved from joining the committee to helping with fund raising events.  Please remember that the parents run the playgroup.

Health and Safety

The health, safety and welfare of everyone in the group are paramount at all times.  All staff are familiar with the safety procedures regarding illness and accidents.  All accidents and incidents, however minor, are recorded on an individual accident or incident sheet which parents are asked to sign and date.  We ensure that at least one first aid trained staff member is present at each session.

Interested in working for Pangbourne Valley Playgroup?

If you are interested in joining our friendly team, please contact us about any current vacancies.  We are an equal opportunities employer.